Ask A Bi Dad: How do I protect my wife from the anxiety my coming out will cause?

By Lewis Oakley

March 29, 2022



Photo credit: Bigstock/ fizkes

Hi Lewis,

I am a 47-year-old bi cis-man and have been married to a straight cis-woman for 8 years now. I talked to her and my two stepsons about my bisexuality long before we got married. We are monogamous, so my bisexuality is limited mostly to porn and my imagination.

My wife and kids have been very supportive of my sexuality, but lately, I've felt the need to come out to the rest of the world. After decades of fear and shame, I finally feel comfortable with who I am. Also, I've been reading that bi married men are practically invisible in the world, so another reason to be out. However, mostly I want to be out and visible for my younger self. I'm tired of living in fear and shame and finally have the courage to share my whole truth.

My wife, who is always supportive, also has anxiety issues. She wants me to be me, but coming out is likely going to have people asking her questions. She isn't ashamed or fearful, she's just concerned that she's going to be bombarded and her anxiety will be triggered.

I'm wondering if you have any advice on how I can come out, while not overwhelming her?



A bi racial married couple laugh together while making breakfast int heir kitchen. The husband has his hand on his wife's shoulder.

Hi Chris,

Firstly, congratulations! Coming out — at any age, is scary, emotionally exhausting and so brave.

One of the things that's not talked about enough is the unique issue coming out as bi creates for those we love. It creates a lot of guilt and it’s an issue few other LGBTI people face.

For example, when a gay man comes out as gay, he doesn’t have to worry that his boyfriend will face homophobia because he's gay. His boyfriend will receive homophobia because he himself is gay.

When I came out to my son, I wasn’t worried about his reaction. I was worried that he might talk about it at school and that my son would be targeted for having a bi parent.

What you’re facing is completely normal for men like us. You aren’t alone.

My advice really is to talk your wife through some of the questions and comments she might receive. Run through every scenario with her so that if she does receive inappropriate questions or comments, she has a response that she is comfortable giving.

Your wife is supportive and you were open with her from the beginning so on some level she will have accepted that this day may come.

Remind her of how important this is to you, that you’re coming out for your younger self. That by coming out you’ll be helping generations of younger bis by normalising bisexuality.

The closet has always felt safe, but it’s not healthy — for you or the world. Having to hide means that on some level you fear your sexuality is wrong. Being out really will help you evolve and feel whole.

I won’t lie, what you’re about to do is hard. It may cause some issues. Be there for your wife and help her navigate those hard moments. Your marriage appears strong so ultimately I’m sure the two of you can handle it.

Good luck


Lewis Oakley standing confidently and smiling against a brick building.

Bisexual people often have few other bi people to turn to for support or to ask questions. This means we often can’t build on the experience of other bi people and improve things for the next generation. Ask a Bi Dad is aimed at tackling this.

Lewis Oakley is one of the leading bi advocates and writers in the UK, campaigning to improve the public’s perception of bisexuality. Recognised by the Pride Power List 2021 and with various award nominations under his belt, Lewis has been successful in making bisexuality national news.

Lewis knows more than most how lonely being bisexual can feel, particularly in those early years. Now, confident in himself, his relationship, and a dad of two, Lewis recognises how rare and lucky he is. This is why he wants to help where he can by answering the questions of bi people from all around the world.

If you have a question that you would like a perspective on, email at [email protected]

*Lewis is not a licenced therapist, and the advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.